California Highway Patrol officers honored the memory of four colleagues who were killed in the line of duty 50 years ago in the Newhall Incident.
On April 6, 1970, four young CHP officers lost their lives in a four-and-a-half-minute gun battle that left four families without their husbands and fathers, as well as left a mourning law enforcement community that still remembers them today.
“We are proud to honor the memory of Officers (Walt) Frago, (Roger) Gore, (James) Pence and (George) Alleyn and reaffirm our solemn promise to always remember their heroic commitment to lay down their lives rather than swerve from the path of duty,” read a statement by the CHP Newhall office as posted on its social media.
The incident, just prior to midnight on April 5, commenced when Gore and Frago responded to reports of an individual brandishing a revolver in his vehicle. The officers initiated an enforcement stop near the present-day intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road after they located the vehicle, which had two passengers.
Pence and Alleyn responded soon after but before arriving at the scene, they heard a “bitter gun battle (erupt), killing Officers Gore and Frago. When officers Pence and Alleyn arrived, they were immediately fired upon by both suspects,” read the statement.
All four were killed in less than five minutes by the gunmen, later identified as Jack Twinning and Bobby Davis, who fled the scene after killing the officers.
For nine hours, law enforcement searched the area for the two suspects. Twinning killed himself after officers used tear gas to storm into a home the suspect had entered to hold a man hostage, while Davis was captured, stood trial and convicted on four counts of murder. Davis served a life-in-prison sentence and died in 2009 in Kern Valley Prison.
Following the investigation, high-risk stop procedures were revamped to enhance training and enforcement tactics, and new protective tools became part of CHP officers’ standard equipment.